Central Mexico - Guanajuato

 

Underground approach to Guanajuato.

Underground pedestrian walkway

Underground tunnel Guanajuato created when an underground river was diverted after a flood.

Underground pedestrian way

Guanajuato hillside

Street market under the walls of the old Granary


Courtyard of the granary building.  The Granary Building is on hillside with a commanding position over the old town. This was the site of the first rebel victory in the War of Independence but it was also where the heads of the leaders were later put on display. It is now a rather wonderful museum with not only materials relating to the struggle for independence but also pre-columbian exhibits.

Mural depicting the Inquisition on the walls of the Granary Building. Mointy Python said that no one expects the Inquisi tion! Which of course was not true.  The whole point was to make sure that i t was recognized for being incredibly brutal and sadistic . Fear is a potent agent in the guest for compliance.

Mural depicting Hidalgo’s work in liberating the poor and oppressed.

The mural was painted with the support of the donations of school children


Memorial to the heroes of the War of independence. Each died a grizzly death.


Ceramic Aztec stamps and rollers used to make repeat designs in pottery.


Skulls have been featured in Mexican art for a long time


Mother figures


Votive figurines


 Flasks with faces

Flask for very happy juice

Lost in translation

Flat figurines

Evidence of the first snorkel?


A huge variety of pots and vessels


This area of Mexico is renowned for its colorful majolica pottery and the museum had a display Potter’s kick wheel

Throwing a pot

Cut-away view of a stacked kiln

Majollica pottery for which the area is known

Painted plates

Silver mines and transport routes in Mexico

Silver mining equipment

Cart from a silver mine

Spanish colonial dress

Spanish colonial dress

Spanish doll

Spanish doll

Granary courtyard with a replica of the Liberty Bell rung by Miguel Hidalgo.  The original, from the church in Dolores Hidalgo, is hanging in the Palacio Nacional in Mexico City

Liberty Bell replica

Cage in which the head of Hidalgo was hung after his execution

Mural depicting Hidalgo's head


Downtown Old Guanajuato

Streetscape Guanajuato

Cathedral Guanajuato

Cathedral square Guanajuato

We could not enter the cathedral as there was a celebratory mass for a young girl’s Quinzenera birthday

Cathedral square Guanajuato

Cathedral Guanajuato

Quincenera celebration with the birthday girl center stage

Looking down town from the Cathedral

Cathedral square

Guanajuato street

Covered street Guanajuato

Gelati colored streets

Flower sellers

Conversation piece

Streetscape

Magnificent theater at the heart of the Guanajuato Cervantes festival every October

Vista

View from the theater Guanajuato

Nico auditioning for the part of a minstrel

Boy on a staircase

Theater Guanajuato

Bike on a balcony

Flower pots on the balcony

Doorway

More flowers on balconies

Windows

Doorway

Art for sale in the street

Art for sale in the street

Zocolo GuanajuatoCoffee shops and book shops in the square

Book stalls on the street

Finding all sorts of uses for old silver mining wagons

View of the cable car from the university

View from the university


Diego Rivera was Freda Kahlo's lesser half. Having seen her house in Cuidad Mexico, we had to see Deigo's house in Guanajuato. It is built rather like an Escher painting as a set of floors that rise around a cental square stair well.

Diego Rivera’s birthplace and museum

Courtyard of Diego Rivera House

Inner balconies looking onto the courtyard of Diego Rivera’s house

Isabelle checking to see if either Harry Potter or a Hobbit lives here

We think it’s a Hobbit

Interior Diego Rivera’s House

Inner balcony Diego Rivera’s house

Stairwell off inner balcony


We happened to be in Guanajuato on the day of the troubador's festival.

A gathering of minstrels

A troop of troubadors

A movement of musicians

Every weekend in Guanajuato students dress as minstrels and process through the streets, gradually gathering more musicians and members of the public

We seemed to have arrived in the midst of a minstrel festival because we were treated to a parade.

Passersby are encouraged to join the parade and wineskins are passed around.  Drew was offered, but declined, a swig.

Taking a swig from a wine skin

Minstrels in training

Minstrels in training

Different groups had different uniforms

The end


Across Mexico we saw many people starting inexpensive restaurants that were limited in their menu to inexpensive dishes that were well prepared and beautifully presented. The restuarants are decorate with flair and there is much greater variety than in the US . You find as many restaurants in Mexico but the mega-franchise restaurants are not any where as large a share of the market.

Being persuaded to stop for pizza

The pizza restaurant

Ninety-nine green bottles hanging on the wall

Patrons are encouraged to decorate their table cloths

Crayon idyll

Day of the Dead

Pizza Margarita


We strolled the Markets and spent time in the giant covered market. This was designed and built by Monsieur Eiffel of "The Tower" fame.

Coffee roaster

Fried potato spirals

Rotisserie chickens

Pastries for sale on the street. These were wonderful.

Entry to the covered market built by Eiffel

Peanut toffee mummies.  Guanajuato is known for its ghoulish museum full of exhumed bodies,  These date from the time of a typhoid epidemic. Bodies, and sometimes even the almost dead, were quickly covered in lime and buried. Soon after there was a mass exhumation when a newloy imposed tax for burial could not be paid by the families of the dead. The bodies were simply stored above ground in buildings. The lime and the dry air mummified them. We elected to skip that particular museum.

Baskets in the covered market

Party supplies

Fruit in the covered market

Pottery stall

Luchador toys

Embroidered dresses

Embroidered dresses

Concentrated Mexico .  Just add water.

Heading to the upper floor in the Eiffel market in Guanajuato

You could find your way around the market by smell alone.  Flowers, fruit, meat, tortillas, sweets and leather.

Honey nuts and sweets

Pigs trotters and offal in the market. The trotters are important for the stock in Pozole. Ken and Matt love Pozole. It is a soup of great and grizzly history. The following is from Wikipedia: Since corn was a sacred plant for the Aztecs and other inhabitants of Mesoamerica, pozole was made to be consumed on special occasions. The conjunction of corn (usually whole hominy kernels) and meat in a single dish is of particular interest to scholars because the ancient Mexicans believed the gods made humans out of cornmeal dough. According to research by the National Institute of Anthropology and History and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, on these special occasions, the meat used in the pozole was human. After the prisoners were killed by having their hearts torn out in a ritual sacrifice, the rest of the body was chopped and cooked with corn. The meal was shared among the whole community as an act of religious communion. After the conquest, when cannibalism was banned, and when european pork had become a staple meat, it was chosen as the base stock because it "tasted very similar", according to a Spanish priest.

This nievero has been making ice-cream for 52 years and has been selling cones in this spot for 50 of those years. Luckily, there is no human sacrifice involved in the making of the ice cream.

Fans in a street stall

Vegetables on the street

Pajaros and periodicals

Wooden guns

Cloth horses